• Jonathan Shepherd, M.D.

Below are tips for parents and kids during the 2020-2021 academic year.

Tip #1: Put your judgment away and move towards accepting we are all just doing the best that we can, under the circumstances that we face, and understand that what is right for you may not be right for someone else.

Tip #2: Be the calm you wish your family to feel. Display healthy coping skills and healthy coping skills will build resiliency.

Tip #3: Keep regular activities as stable and consistent as possible. Focus on the day-to-day basics.

Tip #4: Avoid being too definitive, but do have some open, honest conversation about what you know, what you do not know, and in general what might be expected as we move throughout this school year. Remember getting "back to normal" is not possible.

Our lives and lifestyles have changed.

Contact information:

FACEBOOK: Dr. Jonathan Shepherd

Twitter: @drjshep

Instagram: @drjshep

YouTube: Dr. Jonathan Shepherd

© 2020 Dr. Jonathan Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Fact-Check Mourning

"A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance..."

If mourning could be fact-checked, there would be no lies only the truth. That is we are emotionally drained from grieving the deaths of family and friends. Many caused by the debilitating disease of Covid-19, as well as the ills of a society, i.e., hatred, injustice, and political antics. Yes, we are still in a pandemic that is partly the cause for much of the chaos, social distancing, and emotional distancing in our nation.

It is as if grief has gripped the soul of our nation and we are all struggling to breathe. We are being marginalized and divided because of skin color, opinions, beliefs, politics, and disagreements on who or what we should mourn. Every day that we wake up should be a sobering reality that life is but a vapor. Certainly, the daily rising death tolls should be a reality check. Every day that we're alive is another opportunity to be intentional to do something personally to change the times so that we can laugh and dance rather than weep and mourn.

Mourning is a human commonality among emotional beings and grief does not discriminate, although we all deal with grief differently. Getting through the process varies; some faster and others slower. But the hope is that we all go through it, and the pain of loss is not as excruciating as at the first. At some point, we learn to manage. Since grief is a part of life, managing our emotions is key to our well-being. But how do you manage your emotions when you feel like your life is being peeled away layer by layer because you're mourning? After all, when you love hard, you grieve harder. This is because grieving is the evidence of our loving. You manage grief and emotions by using the cord that is powerful enough to connect us and sustain us during life's challenges. That powerful cord is LOVE. Unfortunately, when that cord is severed by hate and ignorance we are disconnected as human beings.

When we are disconnected from one another, there is no mourning for the loss of your fellowman. Why is that? Because the love cord that should bind us together as human beings has been cut. This is why some people can grieve the death of their pets deeper than the death of another human being, even a relative. Hatred is dismantled when love rules the heart.

Each day that we awaken is an opportunity to help one another get through this time of mourning. It is often the simple things that matter...a smile, a fitly spoken word, a funny gesture, even a dance. Each one of us can change the narrative by rewriting the script to portray love as the lead character.

Therefore, this time of weeping and mourning can become a time of laughter and dancing, if we manage our emotions and let love and peace be like stalwarts first in our heart, then our

family, homes, schools, neighborhoods, community, religious organizations, and government.

©2020 Queen E. Phillips. All rights reserved.

Such calm after last evenings storm. The boisterous winds, lightning , and roaring clasps of thunder resulted in a power outage. But today there is an unexplainable stillness and peace. The birds are tweeting praise. The calming breeze is felt and heard through the tingling of chimes. The sounds are powerful enough to lift the heavy loads we often carry in life.

Oh! And the sun peeks through the clouds as if to remind me, "I'm still shining amid the uncertainties and bloodshed that are causing many to question the existence of an all-knowing and all-powerful God.

After yesterday's trending news about the killing of George Floyd, by a Minnesota policeman, many protests that started out peaceful turned into riots and violence by those with evil intentions. Looters seized the opportunity to protest from emotional instability. Of course, violence is never a solution to a problem.

Unfortunately, when emotional buttons are pushed to the max, human reasoning becomes irrational. Misjudgment and chaos rules the moment and sometimes the hour and the day. The murder of George Floyd and the long list of African American men killed has pushed the emotional button of everyone whose heart is not darkened by hatred and racism.

The world watched the reality of injustice and inequity that African Americans have lived for years. But what now? The emotional unrest--anger, bitterness, the conversations about racial and systemic injustice must no longer be a trend that is talked about for a season. There must be a solution that is inclusive to bring this reprehensible and inhumane act to an end. I pray that truth of oppression is revealed and real change is now!

©2020 Queen E. Phillips. All rights reserved.